The Four C's - Carat Weight

Carat Weight

The relationship between rarity, weight, and value of diamonds can be surprising.  

Their price depends on a number of variables—weight is just one of them.  So it’s not always easy to understand, or explain, why a 1-carat diamond is worth, say, £3000, while a 2-carat diamond of similar quality might be worth £7500.

It’s really a simple concept: Large diamonds are more rare than small diamonds.  The more scarce something is, the more it is worth. So a larger stone doesn’t just cost more. It also costs more per carat. A 1-carat diamond weighs the same as four 0.25-carat diamonds. But even if all the other quality factors are equal, the larger diamond is worth much more than the sum of the four smaller diamonds.

Carat weight can also be symbolic. While the visual difference between a 0.98-carat diamond and a 1.01-carat diamond is negligible, many people will opt for the larger stone—even at a much higher price. Some weights are considered “magic sizes”: half carat, three-quarter carat, one carat, etc. There’s not much difference in their weights, but if both are D-color round brilliants with identical clarity and cut, the size makes all the difference. They really don’t look much different, but if a consumer’s heart is set on the one-carat size, the difference is enormous. The fact that the second stone is slightly over the “magic” one-carat size can give it as much as a 20 percent difference in price with only a 6-point difference in weight.